Monday, November 23, 2009

One thing i dont miss when i am in paris. rainy monday night traffic in bethesda.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

OK, This is Ridiculous!

I know the French are kinda crazy when it comes to fashion, but this is insane.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six States Left!

Thanks for forwarding my blog around to get all 50 states.

Just need
Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah

So if you know anyone in those states (obviously, I don't), please send them a link to my blog.

I feel like my nephews did when they were searching for all the state quarters from both mints!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hello miller lite.

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My welcoming Committee

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

Surprise! I was walking through the airport in Washington on my way to baggage claim, when two crazy girls jumped out from behind the information screen, yelling "Welcome Home!" Luckily, I knew them to be my friends, Leslie and Amy. Even more lucky, my ride home hadn't shown up yet (I took an earlier connecting flight), so we headed to a local bar for some much appreciated wine - no French chicken wine - but still good!

Then my mom, sister and nephews arrived and I broke out the treats I lugged from Paris - 4 baguettes, and ziplocks full of madeleines and shortbread cookies I had stowed in my freezer this summer. No worse for wear, the madeleines especially were better than I thought they would taste.

I will be home until December 29th! Then back to Paris for the final session (January to March) and my internship (March to June).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Visitor Update

Thanks to my New Mexico visitor, whoever you are!

Just need visitors from these last few states:

New Hampshire, Indiana, Utah, Missouri, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Alaska and Hawaii.

I have had 663 unique visitors to my blog since I started in April, so I am confident that someone knows a person in all of these states. Help me out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Officially Two-Thirds Done!

It's official! I graduated from Intermediate Patisserie last Thursday. My favorite Chef JJ on the left and the very attractive Chef Caals on the right.

For my final exam, I made a Vanilla and Wild Strawberry Treasure, this photo is from when I made for the first time in class. No photos allowed during the exam. It is a dacquoise base, wild strawberry mousse interior with berries hidden inside, then a layer of chiboust cream, burned with a torch and decorated with strawberries. Even though we call it the "Boob Cake." I did hold off from putting a sliced berry on the very top for the sake of propriety!

For the technical portion of the exam, we all had to write "Opera" with chocolate on a cardboard square. Here are some photos of my practicing, it was a sad waste of very good chocolate.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Chef Just Desserts

Yes, I know they are accepting applications for the Pastry Chef version of Top Chef. The timing isn't right for finishing school, so I will watch it with the rest of the world.

Check out more information at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Le Cordon Bleu - Ottawa

Interesting New York Times article on Le Cordon Bleu in Canada - the only 'true' LCB in North America. Not trying to knock the LCBs in the US, but I think they are franchisees that bought the rights to the name - they don't necessarily the teach the same curriculum.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Future?

As it gets closer to my departure date of November 16, I want to let everyone know that I will be putting together a menu of desserts for order during the holidays. I promise not to place any complete failures on the list! I have been making notes of things I want to try to re-create exactly (Opera) and some notes on how to improve upon the basic recipes of others (Walnut Triumph).

I am also looking for an internship or a 20-hour a week job as a pastry assistant. Please let me know if you have any ideas. I would like a French restaurant or bakery, but mainly I want to learn from a talented pastry chef. The DC area is best, and part-time is important so I can spend time with my friends and family, I am of course flexible about working nights and weekends.

I have been working on my resume - it looks so empty with financial services condensed. I am wondering if it is appropriate to include photos of my successful desserts, as they are the best way to show my knowledge.

Here is a link to all of my creations to date - some are from before Le Cordon Bleu. Let me know which ones would look best on my resume and menu. The link is to facebook, but the album is open to all visitors.

I will be returning to Paris on December 29, ready to ring in the year at the Eiffel Tower!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where to find American Products in France

Who says the French don't like American food? Check out My American Market's website offering American products, top sellers include Kraft Mac and Cheese, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Jif Peanut Butter.

I read about this on Polly Vous Francais's blog, and thought the comments were kinda funny. There are very few food items that I miss. Luckily, I can get Sour Cream and Onion Pringles at my local MonoP' - the small grocery by the department store, Monoprix.

At a author's talk last week, Alex Lobrano, (Hungry for Paris) spoke about the American influence on French patisserie, and showed the top sellers of bread and cookies in French groceries: Harry's American Sandwich bread, and Pepperidge Farm cookies! I am not sure if it because they are good, or if it because they are cheaper than French products. Next time I am at the grocery store, I will check the prices and the labels, rumor has it that there is no high-fructose corn syrup allowed!

I had a Big Mac last week, and felt so sick afterwards that I might never eat one again. With a huge orange soda/Coke mixture, It used to my go-to hangover cure, but since I rarely get hungover anymore - French wine must be agree with me - I think I am off American fast food for good. Which is helpful, as my meals lately have consisted of: French bread, bacon jam (made by Rebecca) and Boursin cheese, washed down with a glass of wine - I have switched over to red for the season, love my newest pick - The Old Farm.

I know there are some things that I will really miss about France while I am home for the holidays:
  • The sesame baguette from the hole in the wall bakery across the street.
  • Sitting at my window and watching life in my courtyard
  • The cheap grocery store wine (can't let a blog go by without mentioning it)
  • Waking up and realizing that I live in Paris - it still makes me smile
  • Paris moments - seeing the Eiffel tower sparkle after a long day in class
  • Walking in the Marais, and having a fallafel
  • My chefs and classmates, especially JJ and Rebecca
  • My six-year old neighbor Nicolas, who draws me pictures of rainbows with doors and airplanes dropping lollipops.

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